BASKETBALL PREVIEW: The Mississippi Rebels

This is the next in our continuing preview of the 2002-03 SEC Men's basketball season. Today, hoops expert VeeMan gives us a preview of the Ole Miss Rebels.

Returning Players

                   MIN PPG  %FG  %3P  %FT  REB  AST


David Sanders Jr   966 12.5 54.9 50.7 70.5 142  83

Aaron Harper Jr    900 11.9 41.4 39.7 63.3 133  51

Justin Reed Jr     859 14.6 48.0 27.6 78.7 205  34

Derrick Allen Sr   793 8.9  53.1 ---  70.5 184  26

Emmanuel Wade Sr   703 7.0  40.9 35.4 79.4 101  46

Kendrick Fox So    267 2.2  49.1 40.6 80.0  28  19

Richard Kirklin Sr 264 1.6  39.2 18.2 46.2  30  16

Justin Johnson So  251 1.7  45.0 33.3 75.0  24  18

Chris Rhodes So     90 0.5  42.9 ---  14.3  15   2

John Gunn Jr Injured and did not play 

Players Lost


Jason Harrison     973 9.7  39.5 34.7 86.0  54 122 

New Players and Rank in PrepStars

Lonnie Jackson 6'8" Sophomore (top 100 in junior college)

Trey Pearson 6'4" Freshman (#208)

Jonathan Loe 6'3" Freshman (Redshirted in 2001-02) 


(1) Everyone but Jason Harrison, the 5'5" point guard, is back. That includes: Justin Reed, 6'8"; David Sanders, 6'3"; Aaron Harper, 6'5"; Derrick Allen, 6'8"; Emmanuel Wade, 6'3"; Kendrick Fox, 6'7"; Richard Kirklin, 6'9"; Justin Johnson, 6'0"; and Chris Rhodes, 6'7".

(2) Rod Barnes may be the best Head Coach in the SEC. Year after year he seems to combine his talent most efficiently and gets the most from them.

(3) Justin Reed and David Sanders are two of the best players in the conference. Sanders hasn't gotten the credit that he deserves.

(4) Mississippi was a good shooting team last year, both from the field and free throw line, and should be again.

(5) Sanders and Aaron Harper give the Rebels a very proficient pair of starters on the wings, with Emmanuel Wade a very competent backup. 


(1) Point guard possibly could be a problem. Justin Johnson will probably get the job but Jonathan Loe may get a crack at it. Either way, there won't be much experience at the position.

(2) The Rebels don't have a lot of height. They have to fight hard to stay on the boards with bigger teams. John Gunn, 6'10", could help, backing up Derrick Allen, if he can stay free of injuries.

(3) PrepStars didn't rate the newcomers in the first fifty, but Barnes has a way of taking unheralded players and getting the best out of them. Greg Johnson, 6'7" junior college transfer, might have been the best recruit, but he was lost because he had not played at the same junior college for three semesters. 


(1) Mississippi must continue to shoot well to equal or surpass the 20-11 record of last year. This is a team that doesn't have a lot of margin for error.

(2) Finding an effective replacment for Harrison is very important. 

Near Certainties

(1) Reed will be an all-conference player.

(2) Despite Barnes's best efforts Harrison will be missed, but he will find some way to get the job done, even if he has to move Sanders to the point. 

Prospects for 2002-2003

Mississippi will battle Mississippi State for second place in the SEC West. No matter which team gets second, the Rebels will go to the NCAA tournament once again and, unlike last year, will win a game or two there. Top Stories